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This Canadian grindcore formation really knows how to gain attention. They want to set two world-records simultaneously: the world-record of the longest album title and also of the most extreme female vocal sounds. They have a really good chance to achieve the first one because I haven’t found any album with longer title than Tard’s „Disgorging Guttural Regurgitations of Dismembered Disembowelment and Effluvious Visceral Entrail Secretions With a Side of Emaciated Malignant Lymphatic Putrescence, a Glass of Ensanguined Malodorous Discharge to Drink, and Coagulated Pustular Rectal Seepage for Dessert (With a Cherry on Top)” (yes, surely that’s the full name of this album). And what about the other title, the band with the most extreme female vocal sounds? Well, if it depends on me, they got it!
But of course, if you hear that there is a death metal band with a female vocalist you’d probably think that her voice is like Angela Gossow’s (Arch Enemy), Rachel Heyzer’s (Sinister, Infinited Hate) or if it’s grindcore than Sarah Remetch’s (Watch Me Burn). If you think that, you’re wrong. The mentioned ladies have soft and mild voice compared to Tard’s blonde lady. It’s a common phrase that „her voice is probably better and more brutal than most of the male vocalists’” but here is not a phrase and there is no probability: Hillary Muff has definitely one of the best growling voice sound and one of the creepiest harsh vocal I’ve ever heard. It reminds me the earlier Nasum records and the recent Dying Fetus growls – but Hillary’s voice is chunkier. Of course, she uses not only these deep growls but high croaks also. When I say croaks I mean it seriously, she’s croaking like a mutant crow. It’s really creepy but it absolutely fits into their music. I don’t know whether the clean singing at the begininning of the first track was performed by her, but if it was, then I have to make a deep bow to her. And for the doubters: according to the booklet they didn’t use any vocal effects on this album, not even a pichshifter, and if you don’t believe me just check the live videos out at the band’s MySpace page!
Fortunately, the band’s music is not based only on this uniquity, as we can see here, they have the talent to write a real album. The genre is a mixture of grindcore/brutal death metal, it’s never too primitive but it’s also not overcomplicated. The vocal themes are memorizable but it’s really hard to hear the lyrics out from the growl which is the only downside of the vocalist. The lyrics are really funny and creative, „Panty Sniffer” captured me instantly with its „grammatical” topic. This is a song about „why do people call panties a pair and not just panty” and the best part is when she screams insanely that „IT’S NOT TWO! IT’S JUST ONE!”. Of course, this is the only „grammarcore”-song on this album, each track is different with different themes. The artwork of this album is horrible, but fits into their image. The sound is not the best, however, I’ve heard worse before on albums. The main problem is with the guitar sound, they are heavy and cunky but not clean enough to catch the guitar themes easily. The other instruments were mixed and mastered well, the bass sound is nice – sometimes it’s better than the guitar sound – the vocals are simply great, the drums are okay, although, sometimes the kickdrum is a bit louder than it should be, but that’s okay also.
At the and of the album you can hear a bonus track featuring the vocalist of Unmerciful. The song is okay – but the phaser/flanger effect was a bit strange for the first time – but the track starts with a noise which is more than 5 minutes long and that’s really nerve-racking in a negative way, especially when you want to listen to this CD repeatedly. The record is a bit short – if we don’t count with the bonus track it’s only 19 minutes long – but that’s okay for this genre. You won’t find any bad-written or boring song and I’ve already found two outstanding grind anthems: „Panty Sniffer” and „Grandma’s Gift”. The whole album is of high standard and smooth, however, not every song is as outstanding as the mentioned ones.
Tard’s debut album is really interesting and unique, the band has a big chance to get in the spotlight, at least Tard’s name will sound familiar for all the music fans sooner or later. I wish they stay within their chosen path and they keep showing their musical talent and I hope they won’t take their uniquity wastefully. I recommend this record for everyone who loves the special musical efforts, and if you are a fan of heavier music or especially death/grind then this release is a musthave!
( Originally written for http://kronosmortus.hu )